www.whyville.net Nov 30, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Friday Five - 11/28/08

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you all had a great day yesterday - I had an awesome time with my twin sis Jhilya - we laid around in our pajamas, ate popcorn and watched TV :-)

So time for another week's wrap-up of science news and findings. Making my top list this week are:

5) Government officials in Cameroon have established a national park to protect the world's rarest gorilla breed, the Cross River Gorilla. Takamanda National Park is an important example of badly-needed conservation efforts in Africa and across the world, as there are estimated to be only about 300 of the gorillas left in the world.

4) Male lizards do pushups to get noticed. I'm totally serious . . . a study published this week revealed that a certain type of lizard, the yellow-chinned anole, does pushups on all four legs to get the attention of other lizards. Scientists believe this is the first step in a process to stake claim on territory. And I thought only the guys at my gym did that . . .

3) President-Elect Obama continues to name members of his upcoming presidential team, including Peter Orszag as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Orszag has been known for promoting the importance of funding scientific research and balancing the costs of medical care. Sounds like he could be a win for the economy and science.

2) Space Shuttle Endeavour has undocked from the International Space Station and is headed home to Earth for a Sunday afternoon landing. Tests of the urine-to-drinking water system have overcome initial failures, and the solar panel repairs seem to have gone well, too. Travel safely, Endeavour.

1) Discover Magazine has published their list of the 10 most influential people in science - an interesting list of some great people, and there are even some Science Chicago connections to the list . . . Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was our launch week keynote speaker, and Senator Barbara Mikulski is a science advocate and Senator from my home state of Maryland. OK, so that's sort of a 3 degrees of separation connection, but still a connection!

What do you think? Did I miss anything? Let me know, and have a great weekend!

Author's Note: Sources:
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/11/25/lizard-push-up.html http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026843.800-hopes-high-for-sciencefriendly-approach-in-us-politics.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/nation/6132462.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts126/news/STS-126-22.html http://discovermagazine.com/2008/dec/26-the-10-most-influential-people-in-science/article_view?b_start:int=1&-C=

Editor's Note: For more blogs from Dr. Rabiah, visit Science Chicago's website at: http://www.sciencechicagoblog.com


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